Incisional hernia

Hernia (lump) at a previous surgical scar

If you have an incisional hernia, HCA UK has the expertise and facilities for incisional hernia repair

What is an incisional hernia?

Hernias are caused by a weakness in the muscle or tissue wall which allows an internal part of the body to push through. An incisional hernia is a common condition in which tissue or parts of your bowel poke through a surgical scar on your abdomen. It usually appears as a lump or bulge.

Incisional hernia can be recurrent, and in some circumstances can be classed as complex, particularly when other medical conditions have been diagnosed.

Need to know

  • What are the symptoms of an incisional hernia? icon plus

    Hernias generally cause few symptoms. If you have an incisional hernia, you may notice a swelling or lump (bulge) in your tummy where you’ve had previous surgery (such as having your appendix out or a C-section).

    You may be able to push the lump back in or it might seem to go away when you lie down. If you cough or strain, the bulge may reappear.

    As with all hernias, they can sometimes cause severe pain and vomiting. This happens if the hernia strangulates (when fatty tissue or parts of the bowel get caught in the hernia). In these situations, emergency surgery is needed to solve the problem.
  • How is an incisional hernia diagnosed? icon plus

    Your GP or consultant should be able to identify if you have a hernia by examining your lump and the affected area.

    Sometimes it may be necessary to carry out an ultrasound scan to confirm the diagnosis. This is a simple, painless and non-invasive procedure that will help to assess its severity.

    The following factors may be taken into consideration before any treatment options are recommended:
    • The risk of strangulation (when fatty tissue or parts of the bowel get caught in the hernia)
    • If your symptoms are changing or the hernia is getting bigger.
    • The effect the hernia is having on your day-to-day life.
    • Your health in general.
  • Potential treatment options for an incisional hernia icon plus

    If your consultant recommends surgery, the procedure usually involves a general anaesthetic.

    There are two ways incisional hernias can be treated surgically:
    • keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery, which involves making two to four tiny cuts made near your naval, so the hernia can be pushed back into your abdomen
    • open surgery, where a larger cut is made in the skin

    More about hernia repair surgery or surgery for a recurrent incisional hernia

Consultants specialising in incisional hernias

We're proud to work with leading surgeons who are experienced in repairing different types of hernias including incisional hernias, femoral hernias, epigastric hernias, inguinal hernias and umbilical hernias.

Our locations

From complex hernia surgery to diagnostic tests and procedures, we provide exceptional surgical care across our network of hospitals, with consultations taking place at our outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

Our team can help with any enquiries or you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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